AEW President Tony Khan has been teasing “something massive” for the company as of late, with the news set to be revealed on tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite. With many speculating that the news could be AEW announcing a major streaming deal or purchasing the ROH library, it’s still uncertain what the surprise is going to be.
Speaking about the “massive news” Tony Khan is going to reveal, Eric Bischoff talked about the speculation surrounding the announcement on the latest episode of the 83 Weeks Podcast. The former WCW President commented on the speculation that this could be AEW announcing a major deal with a streaming platform and what it would mean for AEW as a whole.
“I’m assuming it would be a big financial opportunity, how big I don’t know,” Bischoff said, regarding the potential of AEW signing a streaming deal and what type of potential it could bring to the company. “If that’s the case, congratulations, that’s growth, that’s growing your business. That’s what AEW needs right now is to grow their business. If that’s it, a streaming platform and it’s a way to grow your business financially and perhaps introduce your product to an audience who isn’t already watching it, congratulations Tony.”
Being someone who worked for both WCW and TNA, Eric Bischoff spoke about the negatives that can come with teasing a big surprise that doesn’t pay off. The former WCW President offered some words of advice for Khan, given that in the past some of the hype he’s put around major surprises didn’t pay off to the level of hype he placed on them.
“Beyond that, I wouldn’t begin to guess what it could be,” Eric Bischoff stated. “If it’s anything but a major streaming opportunity or financial opportunity, whether it’s streaming or otherwise, I hope it’s really, really big because a lot has been made [of the announcement]. We’ve created a lot of anticipation, it’s another huge news, earth-shattering news, the wrestling world is going to change forever type of announcement and I hope it does for Tony’s sake, for AEW’s sake because you can only have so many of these false starts. By false starts, I mean ‘Earth-shattering news that’s going to change the wrestling…’ It’s the Dixie Carter approach. Over promote, over promote, over-promote. Dixie Carter did that all the time and after a while, the audience starts to gag.
“I’m seeing a lot of that same type of pattern. Keith Lee, huge announcement, huge announcement, this is going to be great, big star coming. And he did and he came and what did they do? A little over 1.1 million viewers and then the next week they dropped down to about 750,000 [Editor’s note: The show averaged 869,000 viewers] because the audience was disappointed. You’ve got to be careful of that.
“This is friendly advice Tony, it really is. You’ve got to be very careful about building up anticipation and not delivering to the extent of the hype. I hope this is a huge piece of news, I hope it’s a big financial gain for AEW or even if it’s a strategic move and I don’t know what that would be but I just hope it’s legit and I hope it’s big and I hope it meets the expectation that’s built for it. Otherwise, it’s going to be another in a series of overly promoted mismanaged hype, and that comes back to bite you in the ass eventually.”
Speaking of AEW and Tony Khan, it was recently reported that the company would be picking up the option on Brian Cage’s contract to keep the former IMPACT World Champion around for the next year. This came as a shock to many, including several backstage at AEW, leaving Eric Bischoff to speculate why Cage might have been kept on so soon after Cody Rhodes announced his departure from the company.
“I think Tony is pretty sensitive to social media, we’ve seen it, he’s a sensitive guy, nothing wrong with that by the way,” Eric Bischoff said. “It’s an admirable quality in many respects. But I think losing Cody and then have another one leaving? It begins to, from a social media perspective, it’s starting to look like the wheels are falling off or maybe there’s more trouble in paradise than we know and Tony doesn’t want that right now and I don’t blame him, I wouldn’t either. I think it has a lot more to do with Cody leaving than probably a real war or worrying about what WWE is going to do with [Brian Cage].”